Denel Aviation

Denel Aviation

Denel Aviation, part of South Africa's state-owned Denel (Pty) Ltd, is primarily a military maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business, with more than 40 years' experience in this field. From this capability base it lends support to the local and international manufacturers of rotary and fixed wing aircraft and clients by providing MRO services.

Rooivalk Test Flight

Gripen A


Component maintenance

Hawk Assembly



Hercules C-130




C-130 engine


It has been assigned formal Aviation Maintenance Organisation (AMO) status by Lockheed Martin. The achievement comes on the heels of Denel Aviation's accreditation in 2007 as a Eurocopter MRO centre. This provides for maintenance and repair of the Puma and Alouette helicopters, as well as for the mechanical and dynamic components on the fleet of Oryx medium transport and Rooivalk combat helicopters in service with the South African Air Force (SAAF).

Given the many Eurocopter products in Southern Africa and approximately 150 Lockheed C-130 aircraft in need of service and overhaul in the African market alone, Denel Aviation is exploring new opportunities in the region.

Denel Aviation has started engaging with AgustaWestland, Saab, BAE Systems and Airbus in anticipation of agreed local MRO support for the new platforms that are being delivered to the SAAF from these companies. These include the A109 light utility helicopter (LUH), Super Lynx shipborne helicopter, Gripen advanced jet fighter, Hawk Mk120 lead-in fighter trainer and A400M military transporter

Rotary Wing MRO Overview

Denel Aviation's well-established product support department performs maintenance, modifications, upgrades and conversions on military and civilian rotary wing aircraft.

Among other services, it offers:
  • Helicopter modifications, upgrades and refurbishment
  • Retrofits
  • Manufacturing and integration of system components
  • Maintenance
  • Scheduled & Non-scheduled
  • Operational, Intermediate and
  • Depot level
  • Repairs to damaged aircraft, including corrosion detection and repair
  • Aircraft painting
  • Technical support
  • Aircraft manual updates and customisation
  • Tehnical expertise in the investigation of aircraft mishaps or unexpected component failures
  • Specialised aircraft and component training courses
  • Spares optimization and serialized item tracking

Component MRO Overview

Denel Aviation's Component MRO (support workshops) offers depot level maintenance, repair and overhaul of ground support and test equipment. mechanical, avionic, electrical and composite components.

This includes:
  • Mechanical components
  • Hydraulic systems including Servo controls and Pneumatic systems
  • Landing gear systems
  • Wheels and Brakes systems
  • Transmission (dynamic) systems and propellers
  • Composite components
    • Main & Tail Rotor Blades
    • Windshields
    • Cowlings and fairings
    • Honeycomb panels

The support workshops also undertake maintenance on avionics, electrical and oxygen systems, calibration, complete stripping and painting of components, decals and signage, corrosion prevention, etc. Denel Aviation's component support workshop had been a preferred D-Level MRO to the SAAF for over 40 years

The component support facilities have EASA, FAR and South African Civil Aviation Authority (SA CAA) certifications.

Fixed Wing MRO Overview

Denel Aviation has a established aircraft technical support facility with a sound, well-positioned infrastructure offering a wide range of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for both military and commercial aircraft.

These include:
  • Boeing 707, B727 and B737
  • Cheetah (Mirage derivative)
  • Lockheed C-130
  • Hawk
  • Gripen
  • Airbus A400M
The facility undertakes, among other services:
  • Line to heavy maintenance
  • Structural Repairs
  • Avionics upgrades and installations
  • Modifications
  • Ejection seat servicing
  • Aircraft upgrade installations and modification
  • Retrofits
  • Non-Destructive testing
  • Safety Equipment Repair & Testing
  • Fixed Wing Product Support
  • Operational, Intermediate & Depot level maintenance

Engineering Support & Flight Test Overview

This facility is located on Denel Aviation's site adjacent to OR Tambo International Airport. The Denel Aviation Flight Test Centre offers unique possibilities for hot and high testing of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. The airport elevation is 5500ft above sealevel and summer temperatures reach 35°C. A runway length of 4400m is available, and test airspace is allocated 10 nautical miles from Denel Aviation.

Additionally, testing can be supported at various venues in the Republic of South Africa, including the OTB Test Range in the Western Cape province.


Real-time data processing, formatting and display is performed by dedicated work stations through an open network data system. A mobile telemetry support vehicle is capable of supporting flight tests at remote sites. Full photographic and video facilities are available. Qualified Denel Aviation Flight Test personnel perform all design, manufacturing and installation of flight test instrumentation.

Support for aircraft modifications is available from Denel Aviation's design and manufacturing departments. Pre-flight calibration of flight test parameters is traceable to National Standards, and all documentation is configuration controlled.

Engineering Support Services:

This department offers the following:

  • Airworthiness and aerodynamics for continued airworthiness
  • Avionics & Weapons Systems Engineering for aircraft upgrades
  • Software Engineering for airborne software
  • Integrated Logistic Support (ILS)
  • Reliability, Availability, Maintainability (RAM), Engineering
  • Information Management (configuration management, technical publications and libraries)
  • Flight testing for development and maintenance.

Rooivalk combat helicopter

Denel Aviation is die original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and design authority for the Rooivalk combat helicopter.

The Rooivalk, which was designed, developed and produced for the South African Air Force (SAAF), is now in service with No. 16 Squadron. The helicopter provides heavy, mobile firepower, enabling the military commander in charge of ground forces to apply flexible firepower rapidly anywhere in the operational theatre. The Rooivalk is capable of deep interdiction missions, armed reconnaissance, close air support and armed escort of the Oryx medium tactical helicopter.

Denel Aviation undertakes systems integration, qualification, product support and programme management on the Rooivalk.

Aero-manpower Group (AMG)

Denel Aviation's Aero-manpower Group (AMG) has been providing manpower support to the SAAF for 40 years, placing expert technicians on SAAF air bases throughout the country.

Denel Aviation now offers other customers a comprehensive labour brokering service (recruitment, selection, remuneration management, training and administration), focusing on aviation technical skills, engineering, Information Technology (IT) and supply chain.

The aim of this business is to supply and retain skills to enable customers to execute their business objectives.


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March 2009

Denel Aviation 20th March 2009

Lockheed Martin gives accreditation to Denel Aviation After a process that started some years ago Denel Aviation in South Africa has now been accre[more]

September 2008

Denel Aviation 18th September 2008

Denel Aviation Shows Up Large at 2008 With all the right ingredients, Denel Aviation, part of Denel (Pty) Ltd, ensured its presence at AAD2008 is s[more]

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Denel Aviation

Po Box 11
Kempton Park
South Africa

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